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Thread: Baby refuses to latch -how to supplement while fixing issue?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011

    Default Baby refuses to latch -how to supplement while fixing issue?

    LO is 3 days old. Nursed like a champ in the hospital. All been down hill since we got home. She started rejecting the right side. I was able to still get her on it every once in awhile but now she won't take it ever. She has also now started rejecting the left. After a 20 minute scream fest as I try to get her to latch and she refuses, I end up giving up, taking a break, and trying again 20 minutes later.

    It's gotten to the point now where she's basically not eating. Last nursing session was 4pm yesterday. Refused at 6pm, 7pm and 8pm. At 7:30 I pumped some milk and after the refused 8pm feeding, I used a syringe to give her some of the pumped milk. She accepted it fine.

    Went to bed...by midnight she had still not nursed (offered her boob before bed and a couple of times when she woke up). By 12:30am, I had decided that 8 hours of basically no food was ridiculous and went and got one ounce of my pumped milk and gave it to her via syringe again.

    So, obviously we have major issues here and I am attempting to find someone, ANYONE who can help me. The pedi is useless - just told me to supplement. Didn't try to get to root of matter. I will try to call the hospital's LC tomorrow but she may well not be there since it's Sunday. I cannot afford the $200+ for an in-home lactation consult from one of the lactation centers around here. So...tomorrow begins a fun day of phone tag and internet research trying to find someone who can observe what's going on and help me out.

    In the meantime...the syringes suck. Is the best way for me to supplement by using a supplemental nursing system? The problem is...I can't even get her on the boob to attach the system so that it even comes close to simulating nursing. The best I'll be able to do is attach it to my pinky or something and put that in her mouth.

    Any other suggestions? I need to get her fed without destroying any hope at a good breastfeeding relationship.


    p.s. - I've tried switching sides frequently, nursing when she's sleepy, nursing when awake, different positions, etc. Can't figure out why she suddenly decided she doesn't want to latch.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Baby refuses to latch -how to supplement while fixing is

    Yes, do the finger feeding while finding someone who can help you.

    And while it might seem expensive to have an IBCLC visit (that $200 is kind of high; I only know one IBCLC who charges that) it is cheaper than even one month of formula.

    Have you tried laying back nursing?

    Has putting some pumped milk on your nipple helped?

    When I had this trouble with my first, I put him to the breast, and he wailed, but then I squinted the milk in, and he got it eventually.

    Could you have an over active letdown that is bothering her? 3 days would be really soon, but it's possible.
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Baby refuses to latch -how to supplement while fixing is

    with the PP. If the $200 is too expensive right now, compare it to the cost of a year's worth of formula. And do at least call and explain your financial situation- most LCs are in the business not because they think they will get rich but because they like helping moms and babies, and many will help you for a reduces fee or allow you to spread out your payments.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    middle of IA

    Default Re: Baby refuses to latch -how to supplement while fixing is

    agree with PPs. try laid-back nursing - crawl in bed or the bath both of you as naked as possible and let baby lie on your chest, all day long. put her face near your nipple. do all this when she's happy - maybe even supplement by syringe an oz before. (you already have an oz pumped at day 3?! i'm so impressed! my milk didn't come in til day 5.)
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Baby refuses to latch -how to supplement while fixing is

    Geeze, $200 plus? Is this in the US? Yowza. I need to tell the LC's around here they are under charging. Of course if you are talking a large expensive city and/or lactation businesses with rent and overhead, that price makes sense. How many appointments does that cover? It may include more than one appt. I agree, call and ask what that covers and what your payment options are etc. Actually all told, I paid that much or more, over all, when my oldest had severe latch issues, as I had to have three appts. (unusual.) If there is any way you can afford it, certainly in the long run it is worth it, way cheaper than the alternative if you are unable to nurse.

    Any other options locally? Any LLL Leaders near you? Other breastfeeding support? Support is v. important and someone may be able to help, but peer support like LLL Leaders do not have the clinical training IBCLCs do.

    Are you engorged? That can make latching very difficult for baby and is a typical issue at around this time, as milk becomes so much more abundant.

    Rule number one in this situation is feed the baby and rule number 2 is protect milk supply. If you can avoid bottles by finger feeding, syrynge feeding, or a lactation aid (baby will need to be willing/able to latch to use an at the breast supplementer) that will help. You could consider spoon or cup feeding as well. but if none of that works for you, try paced bottle feeding. See link below.

    Pump with the best pump you can get. Hospital grade rental pump if at all possible. if baby is not nursing at all, aim to pump 10 times a 24 hour day.

    feeding the non-latching baby: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...ching_baby.pdf

    Pumping chart: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...umpigchart.pdf
    paced bottle feeding: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf

    This page of videos has one on cup feeding and one on using a lactation aid (at the breast supplementer) and also using one to finger feed http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=...id=6&Itemid=13

    engorged faq includes reverse pressure softening technique to help baby latch: http://www.llli.org/faq/engorgement.html
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; May 13th, 2012 at 11:27 AM.

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